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Looking at buying new ice tools. Nomic. Vs ergo?


Original Post
djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110

Need advice.  I don't do much dry tooling .  Usually climb less than vertical ice with occasional vertical sections.

thinking of ergo or nomic

any comments that might help me choose is appreciated.

ChrisMurphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

Nomics in my opinion, I believe the Ergo is more toward dry tooling.  You can certainly dry tool with the Nomics, plenty of people do, but I think they'll climb ice better than the Ergo's

full disclosure, I've climbed ice with Nomics but never with Ergo's

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

Sounds like you want the Nomic, it's pretty much a general purpose ice tool while the Ergo is aimed at steep, high-end ice and mixed and is so curved that it feels awkward on casual ice IMO.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

Yep, I agree on the Nomic. I've climbed plenty of ice with my Ergos, but for less than vertical ice they are too much and give you a less desirable swing. I have some Cassin ice tools that have the same shape as the Nomics and love them for ice that is vertical or less. Dry tooling or ice that is vertical to overhanging is where I like to use my Ergos. 

Kevin Mcbride · · Nelson · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160

The ergo is a ridiculous piece of kit. The nomic climb all ice and 90 percent of mixed better than the ergo IMO. The ergo is only really good for long sections of horizontal roof climbing. Also consider quarks, I find them to climb most things grade 4 and under better than the nomics.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

Quarks may be better for less-than-vertical ice than Nomics.  Nomics would probably also be fine.


You shouldn't even be considering Ergos for this use case, in my opinion.

shoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 75

I would suggest that you really should spend a lot more time on different tools to understand their differences before making a decision, based on your question. Nomics and ergos are just not in the same category. If you have to choose between those two, 100% nomics.

Most people in your position would be more likely to be deciding between Quark/Viper/Cobra/North machine/X-all mountain style tools (great for most vertical ice, nicer for alpine-oriented climbing) vs. Fuel/Nomic/Tech/X-dream machine style tools (great for most vertical ice, nicer for mixed).

Ergos are in a different category altogether, intended for extremely steep (i.e. approaching horizontal) dry tooling (although ergos aren't as terrible at pure ice as some might think).

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20
Kevin Mcbride wrote:

The ergo is a ridiculous piece of kit. The nomic climb all ice and 90 percent of mixed better than the ergo IMO. The ergo is only really good for long sections of horizontal roof climbing. Also consider quarks, I find them to climb most things grade 4 and under better than the nomics.

I don't agree. I think the Quark is an alpine tool that can be used on vertical ice if that's what you have. If I were climbing with a beginner I think the quark would be preferred for WI1/2 ice. WI3 and above the Nomic would be preferred. If you're buying ice tools, the Nomic is a far better choice. The curve in the shaft and the improved handle/grip made climbing steep ice much much easier, especially for someone that is new to climbing. It will do fine on WI2 ice, you just have to make a small allowance for the grip on really low angle ice. But, if you're ice climbing you are rarely climbing much WI2 anyway. The only thing that would makes the Quark a better tool is the easier swing, but the slightly adjusted swing for the Nomic is very easy to adjust to. 

I also find the Ergo to be a great tool for blobby chandeliered WI5, where the route is technically vertical, but the climb is a constant series of overhanging blobs that the ergo excels at hooking or swinging into. The dramatic shaft curve sure makes holding on during a long pump fest a lot easier.  

Kevin Mcbride · · Nelson · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160
  • Ryan Hamilton wrote:

I don't agree. I think the Quark is an alpine tool that can be used on vertical ice if that's what you have. If I were climbing with a beginner I think the quark would be preferred for WI1/2 ice. WI3 and above the Nomic would be preferred. If you're buying ice tools, the Nomic is a far better choice. The curve in the shaft and the improved handle/grip made climbing steep ice much much easier, especially for someone that is new to climbing. It will do fine on WI2 ice, you just have to make a small allowance for the grip on really low angle ice. But, if you're ice climbing you are rarely climbing much WI2 anyway. The only thing that would makes the Quark a better tool is the easier swing, but the slightly adjusted swing for the Nomic is very easy to adjust to. 

I also find the Ergo to be a great tool for blobby chandeliered WI5, where the route is technically vertical, but the climb is a constant series of overhanging blobs that the ergo excels at hooking or swinging into. The dramatic shaft curve sure makes holding on during a long pump fest a lot easier.  

I personally find that the battle axe chop swing of most aggressive tools is very inefficient compared to the super easy framing hammer swing of a less aggressive tool. Then again, ice tools are a very personal choice, what works for one person may not work for another. The OP should try a shit load of tools before buying. 

Ben Williams · · My Van · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 30

Just my two cents, if you enjoy the nomic, I'd also look at the trango raptors. I demoed and then bought a pair this season and everyone I climbed with was impressed with their swing for such a light tool. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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